A Lady Bird Deed is a wonder of elder law. It gives a senior or couple the power to stay in control of their property, keep it in their name their entire lifetime, and give it directly to a named individual upon their passing. This property transfer happens automatically (outside of probate) where Medicaid Liens attach.
Here are three things you must be aware of to safe-guard your property.
- You are in Control:
Seniors routinely ask me, “What age should I give my home to my children?”
I’m not a fan of gifting your home because I’ve heard and witnessed many horror stories of mom or dad being thrown out their house by their own child.
A Lady Bird Deed can prevent that.
- Avoiding Medicaid’s look-back period:
Long-term care services can be very costly. The reality is many do not have enough funds accumulated during their lifetime to pay for long-term care.
In this case, you may apply to a long-term care Medicaid program to pay for care.
The issue here is, this generates a Medicaid lien that could attach to your home when it passes through the estate after the person receiving the care and benefit passes away.
Traditionally, the home property was required to be protected or gifted prior to the benefit look-back period (3 year look-back for assisted living, 5 year look-back for nursing home Medicaid).
However, a Lady Bird Deed may be placed on a property at any time regardless of the look-back period.
- To sell or mortgage your property the Grantee must also sign:
Because you’re placing a trusted individual on a home deed to receive your property once you and/or your spouse passes away, you are granting them a future interest in that property.
Should you wish to sell or mortgage your property in the future after placing a Lady Bird Deed on the house, the child or children you placed on the deed would need to sign the deed of sale (to a buyer) or deed of trust (to a bank).
This can be both an advantage or disadvantage. It is a disadvantage if your child refuses to sign off on a deed selling the property (against your wishes). However, it can be an advantage to prevent a family member from signing away their home to an undeserving swindler.
Elder Law Attorney
McIntyre Elder Law
123 W. Marion Street
Shelby, NC 28150